Local fraternity raise funds for an incurable disease

Allison Martinez

The fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, SAE, honors a man named Paddy Murphy every year. Paddy Murphy was a member of SAE and an Irishman who became a mobster in the 1920s when the prohibition began. After a crazy turn of events, a fraternal brother working against Murphy, killed him. Because of this, the SAE brother who killed Murphy ordered a mandatory yearly celebration and SAE chapters nationwide to honor Murphy’s life each year by hosting philanthropy events.

In 2016 and 2017 the fraternity chose to raise money for Reid Underwood. Reid is 2 years old and the son of an SAE alum which makes the cause impactful for the 90 members in the Georgia Southern chapter.

Reid is currently suffering from a disease called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa or (RDEB) for short. RDEB is a debilitating disease which is formed due to a lack of collagen in the skin. The lack of collagen in Reid’s skin binds the multitude of skin layers together causing the skin to become extremely fragile.

SAE President Jack Grande talked about Reid’s disease and the complications he faces because of it.

“The fragility of his skin can be directly compared to a butterfly’s wings leading to blistering, abrasions, and even losing large portions of his skin. It’s extremely painful and currently incurable which is why we have to make this known and do what we can to help Reid,” Grande said.

The money raised will go directly towards research via Dr. Jakub Tolar, who is working diligently to find a cure for the disease. Last year, the fraternity raised the most amount of money since the beginning of this tradition. This year their goal is go even further than that, hoping to exceed the amount raised last year, which was $10,000.

“This week is tremendously important to us because we feel that this is not only a positive impact for a deserving boy, but it is our inherent obligation to do so,” SAE Philanthropy Chairman, Britt Lee, said about the importance of the event.

The Competition

SAE plans to raise over $10,000 by hosting a competition where each sorority will compete for the “estate” and be given the position of wife for the honored SAE Legend and Alum, Paddy Murphy.

When Paddy Murphy died he left behind his estate to his wife but no one knew who his wife was. Each sorority represents one of its potential “wives” and through a variety of competitions including a dodgeball tournament, the women win points based on their participation.

The sorority who earns the most points is proclaimed the winner and earns a percentage of the earned funds to go towards their philanthropy of choice and the second place winner earns a smaller percentage as well.

The week kicks off with a procession beginning at the top of greek row. The men carry a coffin while processing down the street and each participating sorority joins in. Upon arrival, the story of the legend of Paddy Murphy is told and the week-long philanthropy event kicks off.

Ways GS community can help

In order to make this year more successful than ever, SAE is hosting a spirit night between March 29 and March 31 at Moe’s on Brannan Street from 6 p.m. to close, where 20 percent of the proceeds are donated to Reid. Their goal is to raise as much money as possible to help Reid and his family get one step closer to finding a cure and there are two ways you can help make that happen.

In addition, donations to the cause are being accepted through GoFundMe from now until March 31 at gofundme.com/3hwvj0o.